Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Brian Wood
Illustrated by Andrea Mutti
Coloured by Jordie Bellaire
There’s been so much written about the history of America and the revolution that gained its freedom from the King’s tyranny but we still don’t know about the everyday men and women who lived at that time and what they really went through. Most of what we know is speculation due to bits and pieces garnered from others, hardly expert opinion, clues left behind and remnants of order given and those that succeeded and of those that failed. What Brian is doing here fleshing out the way he sees the early stages of the Revolution through Mr. Abbott’s eyes we see things as they could have been but remarkably as we think everyday men did in their situation.
We are given a very real look at what Abbot and Ezekial could be thinking both before and during the battle and of those who are in command. The Green Mountain Boys aren’t traditional soldiers they work better doing things their own way, stalking their prey keeping themselves in the shadows never giving anyone a clear shot at them. So what the boys do here is what I think they would have done in this situation and they prove their worth not only to Ethan Allen but to the country they are helping to forge. The battles at Bunker Hill and Breed Hill outside Boston are magnificently done.
I love Andrea’s interiors here. his ability to showcase all the characters we know and then give us this nondescript army surrounding them is really fantastic. The use of shading and shadows is wonderful compared to the nighttime activities we see of them building the walls to hunker down in the night before full of the right attention to detail.
I thought that when General Washington and Major General Benedict Arnold were brought before Abbott and his men by Allen that this was probably one version of them we haven’t seen properly in the history lessons. Looking for men to do a mission and not knowing anything about Seth except for Ethan’s say so they form an opinion of him that’s unfair and completely in line with men who think themselves superior to others. Condescending and arrogant they are more like field commanders than not at this point and aren’t the seasoned leaders that will one day betray and lead the new country.
The Knox expedition takes Seth and his men on the next leg of the journey. This new mission will keep Seth away from Mercy much longer than either anticipated and with the birth of his child happening while he’s gone things couldn’t be any more tense in regards to that relationship. A woman misses her husband and his ability to work while she raises a child, his companionship and strength to keep her feeling warm and safe and she’s forced to do it all alone while he’s off doing what’s right for them all. Both knew the stakes going on but that doesn’t make it any easier.
What a great character study Seth Abbott is. He’s a man of few words, strong convictions and intense emotion and once he sets his mind to something come hell or high water it’s going to get done. He’ll do his damndest to prove Washington’s wrong about the man he is and his injured pride will be healed, well possibly. I’m utterly fascinated in this man and seeing what he’ll do next to ensure what’s asked of him is accomplished.
Rarely has historical fiction been this close to reality that captures the mind and enthralls its readers in such a powerful way.